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Human trafficking-related charges laid after convoy pulled over: Saskatchewan RCMP

Human trafficking-related charges laid after convoy pulled over: Saskatchewan RCMP
WATCH ABOVE: Swift Current RCMP lay human trafficking-related charges.

RCMP say four people are facing human trafficking-related charges in Saskatchewan after a traffic stop on Tuesday afternoon.

An off-duty officer spotted three vehicles heading east toward Swift Current on Highway 1, according to a press release.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan hotel industry stepping up to help put an end to human trafficking

Police said they appeared to be travelling together as the vehicles were being driven in close proximity and at the same high rate of speed.

Swift Current RCMP officers said they were able to intercept and pulled them all over for driving at 153 kilometres per hour as a group.

While speaking to the occupants, officers said they became suspicious of the relationships between them and investigated further.

Two female passengers, who were described by RCMP as young, were found with no ID in separate vehicles with tinted windows. Police said these were some indicators of human trafficking-related activity.

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As a result, officers arrested Shawn Alexander Kelly, Seyed Kourosh Miralinaghi, Seyed Kamran Miralinaghi and Shermineh Sheri Ziaee. They are all from British Columbia’s Vancouver Island and range in age from 19 to 36.

The accused are facing charges that include transporting a person under the age of 18 for the purpose of exploiting them, harbouring a person who offers or provides sexual services for consideration, or exercised control or movement of that person and knowingly advertising an offer to provide sexual services.

Ziaee, 36, is also facing a charge of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

READ MORE: Human trafficking case against Saskatoon woman heads straight to trial

The accused are scheduled to make their next appearance in Swift Current provincial court on Friday.

RCMP said the two young passengers are from B.C. and are not related to any of the accused.

The investigation is still ongoing.

Swift Current is approximately 230 kilometres west of Regina.